Friday Book Club: The Soul of Money.
MEA mastery faculty member Lynne Twist wrote a bestselling book nearly two decades ago called “The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of our Inner Resources.” Given the financial challenges of COVID, it felt like an appropriate choice for this week’s Book Club.
Money is also the theme of this week’s Sabbatical Session in Baja. Here’s an earlier Wisdom Well post on Money and Freedom that you might find enlightening.
Lynne’s book chronicles her lessons as a fundraiser for The Hunger Project and includes some powerful stories of the sacred and profane influence of money. Here are some of the most intriguing themes of the book:
1. What currency do you want to give your money?
“Money is not a product of nature. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Pennies don’t rain from heaven. Money is an invention; a distinctly human invention. It is a total fabrication of our genius...From the beginning, money was invented to facilitate the sharing and exchanging of goods and services among individuals and groups of people. Money still facilitates the sharing of goods and services, but somewhere along the way the power we gave money outstripped its original utilitarian role. Now, rather than relating to money as a tool we created and control, we have come to relate to money as if it is a fact of nature, a force to be reckoned with. This stuff called money, mass-produced tokens or paper bills with no more inherent power than a notepad or a Kleenex, has become the single most controlling force in our lives.”
2. How you spend money should reflect your values.
"Money becomes a conduit, a way to express our highest ideals."
“Money is like water. It can be a conduit for commitment, a currency of love.”
“Money carries our intention. If we use it with integrity, then it carries integrity forward.”
“Know the flow - take responsibility for the way your money moves in the world.”
“Let your soul inform your money and your money express your soul.”
3. One can operate from a perspective of abundance.
"In the mindset of scarcity, our relationship with money is an expression of fear, a fear that drives us in an endless and unfulfilling chase for more, or into compromises that promise a way out of the chase or discomfort around money."
“Scarcity speaks in terms of never having enough, emptiness, fear, mistrust, envy, greed, hoarding, competition, fragmentation, separateness, judgment, striving, entitlement, control, busy, survival, outer riches. In the conversation for scarcity, we judge, compare, and criticize; we label winners and losers. Sufficiency speaks in terms of gratitude, fulfillment, love, trust, respect, acceptance, partnership, responsibility, resilience, and inner reaches. In the conversation for sufficiency, we acknowledge what is, appreciate its value and envision how to make a difference with it. We recognize, affirm and embrace.”
"Rarely in our life is money a place of genuine freedom, joy, or clarity, yet we routinely allow it to dictate the terms of our lives and often to be the single most important factor in the decisions we make about work, love family, and friendship."
4. Our legacy can often be traced to the money script we offer our children.
“Help your child understand that every product is made from materials extracted from the Earth, and that material things don’t just disappear when the garbage gets picked up.”
“Teach your children about what happens to all that stuff. When we consume lots of plastic, heavily packaged goods, and products that easily break, we leave a heavy burden for future generations.”
“Be a role model. Avoid impulse shopping. Limit your consumption of products that deplete the Earth.”
The book ends with a Sufi poem that provides a helpful perspective of what we’re all going through during this pandemic.
I asked for strength
and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom
and God gave me problems to learn to solve.
I asked for prosperity
and God gave me a brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage
and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for love
and God gave me people to help.
I asked for favours
and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted.
I received everything I needed.